What do you taste when you pop open a good bottle of Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in the cool, misty Carneros region of Napa, California? If I close my eyes and focus on the wine’s aroma and flavor, I usually taste and smell baking spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, ripe red fruits like Bing cherries, raspberries and strawberries, and often a hint of soil, as if you were walking down a dirt path after an afternoon rain shower. The 2008 Cuvaison Carneros Pinot is all that, a great bottle of Pinot worth seeking out and drinking with your next supper. Or maybe as you sink into your favorite comfortable chair. Or love seat.
Wine maker Steve Rogstad’s wines show an amazing consistency vintage after vintage, and his well-balanced 2008 Pinot is no different. The tannins are rich and well integrated, coating your tongue like a Lifesaver. This is a fresh and lively wine that will age well over the next few years. At $30 a bottle, I’d buy a couple: one to sip tonight, and one to pull out in a couple of years.
Jason Hisaw is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers as an Advanced Level Sommelier. He is a member of the wine team at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas and writes for EscapeHatchDallas.com.